President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday (3 August) to blame Congress for the current "dangerous" relationship with Russia. The president's sharp criticism came one day after he begrudgingly signed into law a bill ordering tougher new sanctions against Russia punishing it for interference in the 2016 election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
The bill, called the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," was overwhelmingly approved by the Republican-controlled Congress and curbed the president's ability to roll them back. It also imposed new sanctions on Iran and North Korea as well.
"Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us [a healthcare plan]!" Trump tweeted.
After reluctantly signing the bill on Wednesday, which he deemed "seriously flawed", Trump said: "I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress."
He also slammed lawmakers for failing to negotiate a healthcare bill after "seven years of talking".
Trump's comments come as the White House continues to face intense scrutiny amid the ongoing federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last year's election and possible ties between Trump's team and Moscow. The president has repeatedly described the investigation as a "witch hunt".
US intelligence agencies concluded earlier this year that Russian President Vladmir Putin ordered a complex campaign to undermine faith in American democracy, denigrate Hillary Clinton and help Trump win the presidency. The Kremlin has denied the allegations as "baseless".
Russia has already retaliated against the new sanctions by ordering the US to cut its diplomatic staff in the country by 755 people.
Twitter, however, slammed Trump's latest "blame game" and criticism against Congress over the new Russia sanctions.
Many lawmakers also criticised the president's tweets saying the blame should be directed at Putin rather than the country's own Congress.
Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona immediately fired back at Trump's assertions saying: "You can thank Putin for attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies."
"Dear @realDonaldTrump: As a Member of House Foreign Affairs [Committee], I'm reminding you that Australia & Mexico are our allies & Russia is not," Democratic representative Ted Lieu of California tweeted.
"So far you have attacked the press, your country's intelligence agencies, the judicial system and now Congress," one person pointed out. Another person questioned: "Whose side are you on?"
"An all-time low? Have you ever heard of the Cuban missile crisis? My goodness, the stupidity that comes out of you," one Twitter user wrote. "Why don't you just give Putin your iPhone and let him tweet for you, seeing as how he's dictating policy anyway."
"Nothing like the president throwing his own country under the bus!" one Twitter user wrote. "Everyday he stoops to an all new low."